TIPS FOR KEEPING YOUR CARPETS LOOKING NEW
The following information will assist you in keeping your carpets
looking like new and will extend your investment:
1. Vacuum your carpet frequently as particulate soils are what
causes a carpet to wear out. There are glass particles, sand, grease,
and much more brought into a home where all play a role in carpet
wear. Vacuuming frequently (move your vacuum slowly over a small
area at a time).
2. Have your carpets
professionally cleaned at least once per year and even more often
if you have children and pets making contact
with the carpets frequently. A professional, such as myself, can
get spots and stains out that most homeowners cannot. We have the
tools to get the job done right. Professional cleaning with “steam” extraction
provides a “deeper” cleaning than most methods. All
my customers notice the difference immediately.
Testimony: “You made my carpets look better than when I
first moved into the apartment. Thank you for doing such a good
job”. (Nancy Buffet, Concord, NH)
3. When you spill something
on the carpet such as a cup of coffee, tea, soda, etc. take a
cotton towel (a bath towel does an excellent
job) and fold it up placing it over the spill. Step on it and continue
to move your weight over the towel until most of the liquid is
absorbed into the carpet. Then put another towel down over the
spilled area and weight it down with books, bricks, or whatever
you can find in the house or garage. Leave it there for a few hours.
Pull the towel up and most all the remaining liquid will be into
the towel and not in the carpet. Finally, use a carpet-spotting
agent such as (Spot Out—purchased in Wal-Mart or elsewhere),
Spray the spotter on to the area and let sit for a minute. Then
wipe over the area with a scrubbing motion. This will remove any
4. Watch out in particular
for colored stains from Kool Aid, Wine, and colored soda’s such as raspberry, orange, etc., grape
juice, as these can permanently stain your carpet. In some cases,
your professional carpet cleaner can get them out using a “heat-transfer” method,
but it doesn’t always work. Do not let these spills remain
in your carpet for a long period of time. Use the method in # 3
listed above to get the spill or stain out. Here is a trick you
can use on rasberry colored stains: Take a quarter cut of a fresh
lemon and add salt to it. Rub it over the stain and it should come
5. What if you spill ink on your carpet or upholstery? Try using
hair spray! Before you apply anything to an ink stain, wet the
surrounding area of the stain with water or a mixture of water
and ammonia. This will prevent the ink from spreading and migrating
out farther. Spray the hair spray over the ink and begin to blot.
Keep doing this until all most all the ink is out of the carpet.
You may want to apply bar soap to the stain first, then spray the
hair spray over it for better results. Then rinse with plain cool
water, and blot until most of the moisture is out of the carpet.
6. What about paint? If you spill paint on your carpet and it
is latex, blot as much of it up as possible. If you spilled a large
quantity of it on the carpet, use a dustpan or wide putty knife,
joint-compound knife, or a solid spatula to scoop up as much of
the paint as possible. Then take a cotton towel and wash the area
using warm water and a bit of dish soap. (You can also wash down
the area leaving it very wet and then use a Wet Vac to suction
the paint out of the carpet). You can now apply a spotting agent
to further clean the spill. If for some reason you cannot do this
yourself, put a wet towel over the spill and call your carpet cleaner
immediately. He can come out the next day as long as you keep the
spill moist and covered.
If the paint is dry such as spots dropped on to the carpet, you
can try odorless mineral spirits by moistening the spots and covering
with plastic rap pieces. After an hour, they should be soft enough
to take a cotton rag with more mineral spirits applied to it, and
rubbing the spots out. Sometimes you have to cut the very top of
the fibers with a pair of sharp scissors to remove the paint especially
if it is oil-based. Always final rinse the spots with warm water
and a bit of dish soap using only a few drops of the soap. Just
fill a small bowl with warm water, add the few drops of dish
and soak up the solution with a cotton rag, small towel, or a microfiber
cloth and wash the area thoroughly. Then dry the area with another
clean towel, rag, etc.
Polish: This is a tough one, but if you
are careful you can get it out. Purchase some Acetone at a hardware
store or Home
Depot. Put a small amount on a cotton rag, old towel, and begin
to blot the spill. It will begin to show on the rag. Keep adding
the acetone on to the towel and keep blotting (do not rub as
it may spread). Keep doing this until you have only a pinkish look
left. Then try and wash the remainder out with a wet cloth and
some dish soap, or use your favorite spotter. At this point you
may be able to rub it, but just be careful.
8. Laundry detergent. Spills of this kind are very difficult to get out and the result
will be a soiled dirty spot where it was
spilled as it attracts soil. You must get as much of that spill
out as possible by using the method of #3 above. I have gone
back four or five times to get soap out of a carpet that just keeps
on wicking back up after it is cleaned. The key it to get that
soap out of the carpet using the towel and weight method and
wetting the area repeatedly until most of the detergent has wicked
up into the towel. A Wet Va. might help here also.
9. When you have your carpets professionally cleaned have them
apply Scotchguard protectant. This prevents stains
hold” and becoming permanent. It waterproofs the carpet
fibers and also prevents soils from penetrating the fibers. This
vacuuming easier and more effective at removing particulate and
other soils. Your carpet will not only be protected and stay clean
longer, but you will also extend the life of the carpet saving
you from having to replace your carpet too soon.
10. Here is a very effective
solution for stains on upholstery cushions, dinning room chairs,
and other furniture, which can be
moveable. Purchase the 3% hydrogen Peroxide and a bottle of clear
ammonia from the grocery store. Mix a small batch 50-50 and put
into a spray bottle. Spray the solution on the difficult stain
and put the piece out in direct sunlight. You will be surprised
at how many stains can be removed using this method. I use it constantly
in my business with great success. Of course you don’t want
to use it on wool or even all cotton material. You could test a
small section out in the back of the couch or chair at the bottom
to see if color comes out of the fabric. Use the peroxide mixture
on a section and wait for two minutes. Then rub the area with a
white cotton cloth or towel. If the fabric is not colorfast, it
will show color on the white cloth. If it is colorfast, nothing
should show and it would be okay to put the mixture on the stain.
11. What about impossible or totally irremovable
professional carpet cleaner can remove the piece of carpet that
is stained and glue in a new piece if you have a closet with the
same carpet or if you have a scrap left-over piece available. He
may have the tools to do an expertise job where you will hardly
notice the repair unless your carpet is really worn.
12. What if it is just color loss? If color is lost due to bleaches,
acids, etc., then you could have the section or spot dyed. You
will have to find a carpet cleaner that does this type of work.
He can usually match the carpet color so that the dye will not
For pet odor problems we can remove the stain (in most cases)
and the smell as well. See our newsletter sample on Pet
What Is That Smell?"
All these tips and tricks do not cost a lot of money. It is far
better to have a carpet cleaner attempt to fix your problem than
going out and purchasing new carpet. I hope these tips will be
helpful to our readers and that you will save yourself some grief
and hold on to your hard-earned money.
For specific questions on carpet problems, stains, spots, purchases,
etc. you can e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org and
I will be happy to answer your questions.
Q. I was told
that if I get my carpets "steam cleaned" they
will be ruined because the backing with crack. Is this true?
A. This is a myth and
not true. The actual method you are referencing is hot water
extraction rather than steam cleaning. Superheated water is sprayed
into the carpet and immediately removed using very strong suction.
A certified carpet cleaner understands the proper methods to
carpet cleaning truck mounted system carries a very powerful suction
which removes the majority of water used to clean your carpets.
Carpet manufacturers recommend the hot water extraction method
more than any other.
Q. Can't I just rent
a machine at my local grocery store and do it myself?
A. We do not recommend
this approach because the cleaning solution and machine are not
of professional quality. You will most likely end up with carpet
containing soap residue making the orginal problem worse.
lack the heat and suction of a truck mounted system. Both are
necessary for proper cleaning.